Kroger, Albertsons to sell 413 stores in $1.9B cash deal for merger
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Kroger Co. and Albertsons Companies Inc. announced Friday they will sell 413 stores and 8 distribution centers to C&S Wholesale Grocers LLC for $1.9 billion in cash.
This is all part of the plan for Cincinnati-based Kroger to pacify antitrust concerns and get regulatory approval from the Federal Trade Commission for a planned $24.6 billion merger with Albertsons, according to the joint statement.
None of the stores being sold are in the Tri-State.
The merger, announced nearly a year ago, remains on track to close early next year, the companies said Friday.
Nationwide, Kroger and Albertsons have nearly 800,000 employees in nearly 5,000 stores across 48 states and the District of Columbia, according to the release.opposed
This “divestiture plan is another key step toward the completion of the proposed merger between Kroger and Albertsons Companies. The combination will bring together two complementary companies and create meaningful and measurable benefits for customers, associates and communities.”
Kroger says the merger will bring more fresh, high-quality and affordable food to America, advance the careers of store employees and help eliminate hunger and food waste in communities.
In June, Kroger announced it intends to donate 10 billion meals as a combined company upon completion of the proposed merger to families nationwide by 2030.
Last fall, the state of Washington’s Attorney General sued to block the $4 billion payout to Albertsons’ shareholders before the proposed merger was reviewed by state and federal antitrust enforcers but the Washington Supreme Court rejected the legal action in a Jan. 17 order.
Kroger is so bullish on the merger that its top executive officer said earlier this year that he was ready to go to court if US regulators try to stop the merger.
“Usually you wouldn’t commit in advance to litigate. In this case, we both committed to litigate in advance,” Kroger Chief Executive Officer Rodney McMullen told Bloomberg in May.
More recently, the union that represents Kroger store employees, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, announced they formally opposed the merger.
The Teamsters represent more than 22,000 members across both companies’ stores, distribution centers, and manufacturing plants nationwide.
“Kroger and Albertsons management likes to talk the talk on job security when they’re sitting in front of Congress but talk means little when it comes protecting our members,” Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien said in a June 12 news release.
“We expected better from these two longtime Teamster employers. Clearly, they are more interested in guaranteeing big payouts for management.”
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